Wednesday, May 13, 2009


A foreword. This is not my work. This is not even inspired by me. It comes from another site - here - and I would normally just link to it. But, as it stands, it's remarkably fragmented - not really suitable for presentation. (It's a bit incoherent in either case, but rather amusing.)

So, I'm reformatting it.

All credit to the original writers: "Captain Thunder" and "Comrade Denny."

We begin:

"...I think They Buried Beethoven Alive! would be the great name of a low-budget zombie flick. The thought of the greatest composer of the Romantic period shuffling through the streets of Vienna and moaning melodically for brains is ever so delightful to me..."


Scenes from They Buried Beethoven Alive!:

“BRAAIINNNNS!” “Sorry, Ludwig, it’s not Zur Namensfeier for you!”

“John Cage?” “Yes?” “The world needs you. It’s…Beethoven.” “Right. Just let me grab my shotgun and prepared piano.”

“It’s me, Ludwig Van! It’s Glenn Gould! I know you’re in there, somewhere, Ludwig. Fight!” “BRAAIINN..nnns?”

“Nobody bites off Mick Jagger’s hand and lives to tell the tale! At least, not since Altamont.”

“We saved the world today. And I found love…with you.” “Sorry, Wim, but my true love died again today, and I’m a one-composer woman.”


One scene needs to be Chuck Berry decapitating Beethoven with a mighty chop of his ES-350T … as Ludwig’s still undead head goes a-rolling down the stairs, Chuck yells, “And tell Tchaikovsky the the news!”

Just then, Zombie Tchaikovsky lurches from the shadows and eats his brain.


The wind rose high in the night as the zombie army lurched towards the Salzburg Festival, the eerie sound of dead fingers on oboes, bassoons, clarinets enough to drive a man mad. As the festering corpse of Beethoven staggered forward into the circle of holy light surrounding the crowd, screams began to arise from the Festival-goers. Chuck Berry gritted his teeth. “Too late, daddy-o, too late,” he growled, leaning out of the hovering helicopter. “Looks like Ludwig’s planning a smorgasbord, John.”

From the back of the chopper, Cage grunted. “Mick’s in a bad way, Chuck.” Berry turned, and saw that it was true. Jagger trembled violently, and blood was no longer spurting from his ragged stump of a wrist.

“No time for that now,” said Berry. “Hand me that sniper rifle; I’ll take out as many of the Festivalers as I can. Better dead than zed.”

But as he raised the buttstock to his shoulder, he was startled by what he saw through the scope. Beethoven and his undead orchestra had advanced far into the crowd, which was fleeing in terror in all directions. But on the deserted stage, a single figure stood, alone, brave, a challenging angel to the undead menace. Even from the distance of the helicopter, Berry could see moonlight glinting off glittering fangs as the figure grinned. It reached down, picked up an electric guitar, and dramatically raised one hand in a power-chord salute.

From the crowd, a young woman screamed out, “Rock me, Amadeus!”

The figure brought his hand down in a thunderous, primeval chord. Amplifiers exploded. Sparks showered over the stage. The helicopter was buffeted by sheer sonic force. Berry saw Beethoven flinch back. The crowd went insane.

And Mozart, Vampire King of Vienna, rocked.


Ring, ring went the bell. Cage looked down from his studio to the ruin below. Scores of crushed undead writhed beneath the shattered corpses of baby grands, their powdered wigs soaked in gore.

“That’s the last piano, man,” said Chuck. “What are we going to do now?”

Cage waved him off. “Shhhh! The microphones are still working! Those lingering moans are perfect! Is there any more tape?”

“They stopped manufacturing reel-to-reel tape years ago, Johnny. How don’t you know that?” Berry paused, and then asked pointedly, “Didn’t you die in 1992, Johnny?”

The old man withdrew from the window, “So you finally figured it out, did you?”

“Man, I figured it out a while ago. Deep down in Louisiana, close to New Orleans we got a name for people like you…”

“What’s that?”


Berry swung his mighty Gibson ES 350T at Cage’s head and would’ve crushed it to pulp had the old jumbie not been so much quicker than he looked. He was out the door faster than you can play with a ding-a-ling.

“That’s right!” Berry hollered after him, “Go! Johnny, go!”

And still, the problem of Beethoven had yet to be solved.

“What I need,” said Berry to himself, “Is a pistol as long as I am tall.”


Chazz, man. Real allegro. Yo-Yo whipped up his custom Stradivarius, bow at the ready, a hyped-up hum of glissando tremoring through his mirrorshades. “Zombies. Not frosty.”

The crowd of undead surged forward, their rosin-stained fingers groping for living flesh. Brightman screamed, her voice rising octave after octave, until the eyeballs of the forward zombies exploded, ocular grenades showering her with fetid fluids.

“Double down: double doom,” intoned Yo-Yo, and made himself ready, eyes closed, clearing his mind of distractions until the Suzuki Method rose up and filled him. A lead zombie snatched away his bow. He opened his eyes. “Pizzacato Tomorrow, baby.”

Fists and cello flying, he plunged into the horde of undead. “Get gone, Sarah!” he shouted, as his foot connected with the jaw of a mouldering countertenor. “Makin’ magic, kiss my ass, undead bastards!”

Black. A throbbing mass of dead flesh, all-devouring. Is this the end of Yo-Yo Ma?

Just when he was about to rest, the zombies were hauled off him bodily, and he saw the light. A decayed oboeist lurched off howling, his body burning merrily with something that smelled like napalm. Again and again, ghouls burst into flame.

A slim, masked figure stood in the doorway, flamethrower in hand. “You people all right?” he said.

“Been better,” said Yo-yo. Brightman was near catatonic.

“Let’s get out of here,” said the masked man, and turned towards the door.

“Hold it, homo superior. Who are you?”

The masked man looked back at Yo-Yo. “The last man of a family sworn to destroy the undead wherever they are, throughout the ages. My name is Zachary Patrick Gustav, but you can call me Z.P.G.

“Z.P.G. Bach.”


Chuck Berry stood in the dimmed doorway, peering into darkness. The red luminescence of the On Air sign cast eerie glow amidst the gloom. Berry had traced the subsonic carrier signal to a crumbling station in Cleveland. Slowly, he lifted his 6′1″ long pistol and pointed it at the head of the shadowy DJ.

“Gig’s up, baby. Turn around, real slow-like.”

The chair swiveled. Berry was confronted with a familiar face preserved in hot wax.

“Moondog!” he cried, staggering back and sitting on the floor, tears in his eyes. “Why’d you do it, Alan?”

“Why do you think? They paid me.”

“But what is it? How does it work?”

“It’s an ear-worm, Chuck, one so profane and powerful that it bores its way into any brain - living or dead - and drives it to mindless, uncontrollable cannibalistic violence.”

“But what is it, man?”

“Do you really want to know?”

“I deserve to know, daddy-o!”

“Well, it’s a good thing for you it’s the All Request Hour. Come here, here. See? Here is a little song I wrote -”

“Wait, stop!”

“You might want to sing it note for note -”

“Alan! Stop!”

“Chuck, don’t worry,” said the DJ, who then added, “Be happy!”

Berry felt the last shreds of his sanity slipping away. And then came the rage. Uncontrollable. Unquenchable. Eternal.


The pounding of zombie fists on the door was incessant. Yo-Yo felt the last of his strength slipping away as he braced his feet against a loose floorboard.

“Bad news, guys,” said Brightman, her thigh stained red with blood. She held up her Nokia. “We lost Berry.”

Z.P.G. ignored her and kept firing through a crack between two boards.

“Damn. Screwed and double screwed,” said Yo-Yo, grunting with effort. “Not a lot of time, guys.”

Brightman gave him a brave smile. “We’re not walking out of this one. At least, I’m not.” Her Nokia chirrupped. “Text. Righteous! It’s from Ben Folds! Bowie and Mozart have agreed to the compact. The Symphonies of the Night are at peace again!”

“Vampire bastards, all of them,” spat Z.P.G. as he reloaded. “We ought to stake the whole lot of them.”

“Chance of survival’s dropping to zero; jawing in London doesn’t help us,” said Yo-Yo. The door creaked forward an inch.

“If Mozart’s forces can get here in time…”

“No chance,” said Z.P.G. “We’re out of time.”

“Wait!” shouted Brightman. “Berry got out a message just before…it says the zombification’s caused by a musical ‘death note’ being broadcast from the West Coast.”

“That makes sense.” Z.P.G. nailed another ghoul between the eyes, sending a powdered wig and powdered brains splattering across the courtyard. “The Bachs have long known about the power music has over the undead. The St. Matthew Passion contains a legato that causes uncontrollable seizures in werewolves. Not many people know that.”

“Right.” Yo-Yo slammed his shoulder hard against the door, sending zombies tumbling back down the stairwell. “Toss me my cello.”


Igor sat, buckled to his piano stool, on the back of of flatbed as it made its away through Salzburg. He banged-up upright was firmly strapped down. Amadeus had interrupted the virgin sacrifices that kept Igor young and relevant after all these years. Igor owed the vampire composer a solid, and he hoped it was worth it. Igor may have been 127 years old, but he could still die, or worse - undie.

He switched on the P.A. and began to pound out the primitive pulse: dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-DUN-dun-DUN-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-DUN-dun-dun-DUN-dun-dun-dun-DUN-dun-dun-dun-dun-DUN-dun-dun-DUN…

The zombies stopped in their tracks, veins and meat dangling from their jaws, and then, in a primal frenzy of violence, turned on one another.

“It’s working! It’s working!” he cried. He shouted to the driver. “I know you’ve been at this six days, but can you get us to the warehouse? We’ve got to get Yo-yo, Brightman, and that Bach brat!”

“Man,” drawled the driver, “I’m taking little white pills, and my eyes are open wide!”

The engine revved and diesel smoke gushed into the air like blood in water. Igor kept pounding away on the keys as all the zombies in earshot of the P.A. fell into an orgiastic cannibal frenzy of feeding on one another.

All zombies within earshot … but what about a zombie who couldn’t hear an single note?


“Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust,” intoned the gaunt figure at the window. Ben felt terror–both physical and artistic–at being in the presence of this monstrous genius.

“Europe is tearing itself apart,” stated Bowie, with some satisfaction.

“I never thought–I mean,” stammered Ben, “I knew you were a genius–a poet-musician in the classic sense–but a vampire? Far out, man.”

“A nosferatu, yes. And now should be my hour. But the Viennese is right. This living dead Kapellmeister threatens everything. So we make truce.”

Ben looked at the blood spattered across three walls, and shuddered.

“Enough chitchat,” said a braying American voice emanating from a telephone incongruously placed in the center of the table. “Let’s get down to brass tacks.”

“Indeed.” Bowie draped himself over a nearby throne. “Proceed, Mr. Geffen.”

“My sources in Vienna say that your bloodsucking buddy Mozart’s having a little trouble putting the kibosh on ol’ Ludwig.”

Bowie glared at Ben. “I thought you told the boy Bach about the vulnerability of the ghouls to certain musical stylings.”

“I did!” gasped Ben. “They must not be working on Beethoven for some reas–”

“His deafness! Damn!” snarled Bowie, long canines revealed.

Over the phone, Geffen chuckled. “Don’t worry your pretty little head. We got a solution to that too.”

“You do?” asked Ben.

“Yeah. Back in the day, before there even was an American music industry, some German boys came over after the war. Scientists and such. Set themselves up in Tin Pan Alley, took on acts like Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey. Tryin’ to make themselves the perfect pop act.”

“Blasphemy,” growled Bowie.

Geffen ignored him. “Cobblin’ disco superstars together from dead flower-power kids. Heavy metal thrasher bands brought to life with electricity…they were noble men, trying to invent the perfect product–all style and no substance.”

Geffen cleared his throat. He seemed almost hesitant to proceed. “And they succeeded. The ideal teeny-bopper fresh-faced pop-music sensation/assassin. They’re flying her in to Europe as we speak, strapped down and secured like Hannibal Lecter. She’ll take care of Beethoven for you.”

“Does this…abomination…have a name?” drawled Bowie.

“Yeah. They call her…Montanastein.”


Igor groaned, his lower extremities crushed beneath his all-too-solid piano. The flat lay twisted and mangled off to the side of the road, as if tossed aside by a gigantic child, while the semi, full-flipped and smoldering, belched black coils of smoke into the sky. God damn you, Dudley, cursed Igor, And god damn your 10 forward gears and Georgia overdrive.

The zombies were closing in, lovely, lovely Ludwig Van at the fore. “Refraiiiiiins! they moaned.

Igor clutched his baton, ready to jam it up his nose and scramble his gray matter before these unholy rotters could infect him with their filth.

Then he heard it: Boom.

Silence, save for the moaning hoards.

Then again: Boom clap.

Oh, oh gods no, though Igor. The cure is worse than the disease, but they did it anyway! The damn fools finally did it!

Boom de clap de clap - WOAH-WOAH.

The hordes stopped, and then their collective gaze shifted skyward.

That’s right.

Boom de clap de clap
Boom boom clap
Boom de clap de clap - WOAH-WOAH!

Igor looked up into the symmetrically perfect, genetically modified face of God. Or more likely, Satan herself.

“Pop it, it roared, “Lock it. Polka dot it…”

“You maniacs!” cried Igor, “God damn you all to hell!” And he shoved the baton through his cranium.

In one of the countless billions of galaxies in the universe, lies a medium-sized star, and on one of its satellites, a green and insignificant planet, the greatest composer of the 20th century is now dead.


Igor’s death did little to stop gears already in motion. The infernal arts of statecraft rarely notice the passing of one miniscule modernist composer. In Rome they were already assembling.

“I know it was short notice for all of you to come. Prego,” said the Minister of Culture. Team O.P.E.R.A. sat in a semicircle around a table of such extraordinary elegance that most woodworkers would have wept to see it. They ignored it. Their thoughts were on the task at hand.

Opera-tive: Blind Man spoke first. “And what do we do?”

“The Americans, hoping to contain the source of the infection, have unleashed a weapon of musical destruction in central Austria. This is a clear violation of UN protocol. She must be stopped.”

“And so shall Ulysses return to his country,” said Opera-tive: Immortal. “I fear our deaths shall result.”

“As if you have anything to fear,” sneered Opera-tive: Fat Man. “You’ve been alive since the seventeenth century.”

“I would still prefer not to die,” said Immortal. “I haven’t finished composing my madrigals.”

“I have dedicated my life to music,” said Fat Man. “I would gladly lay down my life to defend Europe against her brand of soulless corporate-pop.”

“Be careful out there,” said the Minister. “The vampire lord Bowie already has operatives in the area–the Werewolves of London.”

“Rhodes and Le Bon?” laughed Blind Man. “Hardly a threat.”

“Don’t underestimate them!” snapped the Minister, then composed himself. “Take these silver bullets with you. I understand Le Bon is hungry. Feed them to him, if necessary. Regain control of the situation.”

As the opera-tives rose, he looked at them with what could almost be kindness, and said, “Good luck, and may God be with you.”

Blind Man held up a silver-laced knife. “Right, let’s go carve ourselves a bitch.”


“So, the spider’s emerged from her web,” snarled Z.P.G. He clutched the gunshot wound in his shoulder, blood seeping through his fingers.

The Plastic One watched him over steepled fingers. “Don’t even think of reaching for that cello, boy,” she said to Yo-Yo without glancing at him.

Yo-Yo attempted to prop himself up, but his injured leg buckled, and he slid back down the wall. He could see the blood leaking out of Le Bon where the werewolf had been stabbed, the silver-plated knife still lodged between his shoulderblades.

“You’re not going to walk away from this,” said Ben weakly. “This place is surrounded by zombies, and once Bowie and Mozart figure out what you’re up to–”

“And why would they find out? Already, their forces are coming into conflict with, oh, the Italians, the Austrians, the Germans…soon, they shall be swept away. A new day shall dawn!”

“Then what?” asked Z.P.G. “They’re good artists–better than you’ll ever be! They have genius–”

“Genius is overrated,” said the Plastic One. “It’s a mere superstition, and like all superstitions–like zombies, vampires, and werewolves–it belongs in the past. The future is scientifically designed music, music from machines.”

“Electronica?!” gasped Ben.

“Yes! Thumping beats and digital rights management–that is the future! Merchandise of every kind–lunchboxes, t-shirts, action figures–that is the future! Montanastein–that is the future!” Her face was transfixed by the power of her vision. “My god, it’ll be glorious.”

She stood over them, vampire hunters and zombie warriors and dead werewolves, and in her Plasticness they saw the future. “Imagine all the people, living for today,” she said, and smiled.

The window behind her exploded, showering her with glass. A blood-covered figure loomed, and snarled, “Too much monkey business for me to be involved in! Looks like you folks need a hero, but instead you got me!” He raised the gas-powered Rickenbocker in his hands.

“Berry! You’re alive!” shouted Yo-Yo. “We’re saved!”


Immortal groaned. His head throbbed, and his eyes felt as though they were glued shut. Summoning all his strength, he managed to open them. He wished he hadn’t.

He was strapped to a chair in what appeared to be a cellar. Blind Man was strapped to a chair across the room, his head hanging limply. Brightman lay sprawled on the floor; Immortal could see the bleeding wound on her side where Orff had gnawed on her.

The last thing he remembered was parachuting into Vienna, preparing to engage the monstrosity they called Montanastein. His team had reassembled after the drop, and making their way through the darkened alleys, ignoring the screams around them, they had found the girl Brightman hauling herself bodily along. Then Orff had attacked–and things had become confused. What had happened after that? He did not remember.

His head pounded, and he let out a groan.

“So, secret agent, you are awake,” came a voice from the shadows. A man stepped out, and despite the horrors he had seen, Immortal jerked back at the sight of the man’s visage. Long scars were etched deep into his cheeks from the corners of his mouth, giving him a ghastly false smile, which was not enhanced when he smiled for real. “Does my appearance frighten you, secret agent? My name is Fumiaki Miyamoto. I am afraid you are my captive.”

“I shall see you in hell, like Orfeo,” snarled Immortal. Brightman stirred on the floor. Immortal glanced at her, then back at Miyamoto. “She’s dying. The least you could do would to be merciful.”

“Her death is not my concern. What is my concern, however, is the girl Montanastein. What do you know of her?”


Miyamoto stepped forward, and smashed Immortal’s hand with a hammer clutched loosely in his right hand. Immortal let out a cry of pain.

“What do you know of the girl Montanastein?” asked Miyamoto.

“Nothing. Go to hell!”

The hammer again. Immortal gasped in pain, his head lolling to one side.

Miyamoto narrowed his eyes. “Well, you are my captive. In time you will soften. I can be patient.”

He walked over to the thick steel door and pounded on it. “By the way,” he said. “Your friend has died.” Then the door opened, and he exited.

Immortal looked to the floor, where Brightman lay. Was she still breathing? He watched her intently, but it became clear she had slipped free of life.

To his surprise, he felt a lump in his throat. The girl hadn’t asked to get involved; he barely knew her, and indeed had barely caught her name. There would have to be a reckoning for this.

Her finger twitched. Immortal watched, stunned, as her hand convulsed, gripping air in a savage claw. Then she sat up from the waist. Her head slowly swiveled around, and Immortal saw the hideous pallor of her skin, the deadlights in her eyes, and as she lurched to her feet, he began to scream.


Berry wasted no time. “This is one Hound-dog taught me in back in ‘50,” he said, letting rip a greasy, booty-loosening groove that blew Plastic One’s hair clean off.

“Give me back my wig!” she screamed, scrambling after the frazzled, smoking shrub that once sat atop her head.

“Honey,” smiled Chuck, “now let your head go bald!” And he cut it loose.

“Stop it,” she screeched, “Stop!”

Chuck advanced, smiling the whole while. “After I turn you on, baby, I’m gonna blow your mind with some of this.” Again, his fingers danced across the fret board releasing electric heat …

“I’m melting, melting. Ohhhhh - what a world! What a world. Who would have thought a guitar groove from you could destroy my beautiful talentlessness?!?”

A sizzling pool of plastic smolder noxiously where the Plastic One had been.

“Clear the room!” commanded Z.P.G. “The fumes may have mind-killing effects!”

The street outside was a ruin. The still-twitching remains of zombies littered the streets. Vampire corpses still smoked under the gentle rays of the morning sun, and the werewolves lay dead, vulnerable in their human nakedness.

“Is it over?” asked Ben. “Are we safe?”

“Safe?” replied Chuck. “Music ain’t never safe. Not when you’re playing it. Not when you’re listening to it.”

Z.P.G. added, “Besides, Montanastein is still at large. We may have turned her against the Cyrons who created her, but that doesn’t mean she’s on our side.”

“I don’t know, baby,” said Chuck, “That little queenie’s in the mood. I got a chance, and I oughta take it,” adding with a lick of his lips, “She’s too cute to be a minute over seventeen.”

* * * *

The ruffian in a white codpiece made his way under the bridge. He held, mostly dragged, a sad sack of bones and rags that was once a man.

“Initiative comes to thems that wait,” he muttered to his bedraggled companion. “And then, oh then, my lovely lovely Ludwig Van: Oh bliss! Bliss and heaven! Oh, it will be gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh.”


Blind Man raised his head. He could hear Immortal screaming, and with his perfect acoustic hearing, he also heard the lurch of Brightman’s now animated corpse shambling closer. Calming himself, he lashed out with one foot. The extremity came nowhere near Brightman, but that was not his intent. A blade shot from the toe, and neatly severed the strap securing Immortal’s left hand.

In one hurried moment, Immortal ripped free his right hand, and then snatched up a throwing knife from inside his boot. A glittering arc in the air, and Brightman dropped bonelessly, her forehead pierced to the hilt.

“Time for us to get out of here,” said Immortal, as he finished freeing himself and Blind Man.


Fat Man huffed and puffed his way through the Viennese streets. Zombies, more of them ahead, many behind. He wasn’t going to make it, they were only inches behind him, he could almost feel their grasping hands–

A muscular arm reached out from a door and hauled him in. He was slammed against the wall as the door was closed behind him.

“Unhand me, undead scum!” he snarled, as he reached for his pistol.

“Easy, friend, we’re not dead,” said an English-accented voice.

“And we’re not scum, either,” said another voice.

Fat Man realized he was talking to two men whose similar countenances suggested they were brothers. “Who are you?”

“I’m Phil–”

“–and I’m Paul. We’re the Hartnoll Brothers.” Paul glanced at him. “You must be Fat Man.”

“How do you know who I am?”

“Bowie sent us,” said Phil. “You don’t think–”

“–he would trust Geffen for a second, do you?” asked Paul.

“He’s sent us with the fix,” said Phil. “These patches contain a special nanoformated mixture of MDMA and computerized microspeakers. It should–”

“–block out the ‘mind-worm’ virus that the Plastic One was using to create the zombies,” said Paul.

“Just slap ‘em on and let them go to work,” said Phil.

Fat Man took a handful of patches and looked at them doubtfully. Paul clapped him on the back. “Come on, haven’t you ever wanted to be a hero?”

“No, not really,” said Fat Man.


Half an hour later, Fat Man had to admit they were making progress. The patches seemed to be working. Thirty seconds or so after contact with the skin of the undead, and the corpses started lying down in the street, returned to their unending slumber.

“Heh,” said Fat Man. “I didn’t think this would actually work.” He turned to the Hartnoll brothers. “Did you–”

The two men were staring upward at the corner of a building. Fat Man followed their horrified gazes, and saw an avenging angel of mediocrity crouched atop the building, cowboy hat on head and katanas in each hand.

In a graceful somersault, Montanastein dropped in front of them.

“Crap,” said Paul. He hauled out his pistol. “We’re screwed!”

“Ya think?” said Montanastein with a telegenic grin, and one katana flashed out. Fat Man saw the pistol and two of Paul’s fingers fly off into the darkness.

“Get her,” screamed Paul, and Fat Man whipped out a pair of throwing knives. Montanastein’s katanas sawed through the air towards him, and he caught the blades with his knives. Her weight leaned into him, and he could see the tiny scars on her brow, her arms, her lips, all the places they had stitched her together.

He couldn’t hold this for much longer. Luckily, he didn’t have to. Phil leapt forward onto her back, and slapped one of the patches on her left temple.

She released her katanas and staggered backwards. “Fire…bad?” she mumbled, confused.

“Yeah,” said Fat Man, panting. “Fire bad.”

She stumbled off into the night. The three men watched her wander off, until Paul’s mobile chirped. He examined the screen with one bleeding hand. “Bloody hell. They’ve killed the Plastic One.”

“Isn’t that good?” asked the Fat Man, still trying ot catch his breath.

“She was working for somebody–”

“–and now we’ll never know who. Damn!”


Z.P.G. held the gun carefully in his uninjured hand. To his left, Immortal carefully supported Yo-Yo. The Hartnoll brothers carefully kept their guns trained on two of the members of the Blue Man Group, while Fat Man targeted the third. Geffen’s luxurious mansion was thoroughly trashed, as though an entire Woodstock of rock stars had been staying there.

“Did you really think you’d get away with it?” asked Berry, guitar in hand.

Geffen laughed. “Of course! Who’s going to stop me, even now? You? A bunch of has-beens, never-weres, and classical musicians? Hah!”

“We’ll stop you. This dream of yours, of all-electronic music–”

The raucous laughter from Geffen startled them all. “You actually think I’ve signed on to Ono’s ridiculous philosophy? I only care about music that makes money. Lots of money.”

A tinkle of glass behind him, and Montanastein heaved herself over the balcony, the sound of California surf distant through the now-broken window.

“Ah, here is my trump,” said Geffen. “You might have my Blue Men under your guns, but Montanastein will make short work of you, and then there will be TV shows, and world-tours, and CDs. More CDs than you could possibly imagine! CDs costing five cents to make and retailing at twenty bucks a pop! CDs as far as the eye can see!”

“Actually,” said Montanastein, and Z.P.G. could see a strange patch on her temple, “I’ve been thinking, and I think my next release should be online, for free. Like Radiohead!”

“WHAT?!” screamed Geffen. “You’ve ruined her! Who taught you to think, you manufactured little bitch!” And before anyone could react, he hauled a pocket rocket launcher out of his pants.

Things happened very quickly. Montanastein charged, her katanas at the ready. Geffen pulled the trigger. The Blue Men rushed the O.P.E.R.A. agents. And Z.P.G. watched as Montanastein exploded in a hail of body parts.

Geffen chuckled, then stared in disbelief at the katanas projecting from his chest. “No…mass market-ting…” He collapsed to the carpet.

The Blue Men were quickly cut down, and the remaining musicians breathed a collective sigh of relief.

“We found out what the Japanese were up to,” said Blind Man, once they began to relax. “They wanted to adapt the techniques used to make Montanastein for the J-Pop market. That’s what Miyamoto was after.”

“And Geffen caused the zombie outbreak from the beginning,” said Berry, “so he could unleash Montanastein and *boom* instant celebrity, daddy-o.”

Z.P.G. surveyed the blood-stained room. “Well,” he said. “It’s all over.”



Beethoven lurched along the beach at Trieste. The droog had been a delicious but momentary snack, and now the hunger for musically-inclined brains welled back up in him. He waded into the surging surf, his rotted limbs quickly being coated with salt. As he staggered out into the Adriatic, his brain was blessedly free of music, and was filled only with the thought of delicious brains. The sea rose up and engulfed him.

The End…

or is it?

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